man Farm attack farmer

Etienne Du Toit was found dead at Sterkspruit Farm by his son on Thursday night, 29 September. Photo: Unsplash

Farm ATTACK: Call for special police task team to probe rural KZN crime

A 56-year old woman has been brutally assaulted in the latest farm attack to occur in just 24 hours after an earlier attack on a farmer.

man Farm attack farmer

Etienne Du Toit was found dead at Sterkspruit Farm by his son on Thursday night, 29 September. Photo: Unsplash

The DA in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) had noted with “grave concern” the increase in farm attacks in the province and has called for the SAPS to assign a specialised task team to investigate the crimes.

DA Member of the KZN Provincial Legislature and spokesperson on Agriculture and Rural Development Martin Meyer said that the most recent attack had taken place in Middle Rush between Greytown and Mooi River where a woman was attacked with a bush knife at her home on Tuesday night. The latest incident comes just 24 hours after another farm attack near Estcourt.

SAPS spokesperson, Colonel Thembeka Mbele, said that the latest farm attack took place before 19:00 on Tuesday 9 November. Mbhele said Mooi River police had been conducting patrol duties when they received information about a 56-year-old woman who was attacked at her home by unknown people. 

“The police proceeded to the woman’s place of residence and found her with injuries on the body, head and legs and was taken to hospital for medical attention. The victim alleged that she was attacked with a bush knife by unknown people,” Mbhele said. 

“The motive for the attack is unknown. A case of attempted murder was opened for investigation. At this stage it’s unknown if anything was taken since the victim was in critical condition,” she said.

Farm attacks and crime of the rise in KZN

Meyer said there was “no doubt” that crime in KZN’s rural areas was once again on the rise. 

“While the pattern of increased crime in such regions ahead of the holiday season is well-known, it seems that both the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) have been caught completely unawares. This is evidenced by their failure to put proactive measures in place to deal with this matter,” Meyer said.

He said that the negative impact of the severe Covid-19 lockdown, coupled with the July unrest had a devastating effect on food security within our country. 

“As a nation we cannot afford to see the security of our farms deteriorate any further. Now is the time for calm and the DA calls on KZN Premier, Sihle Zikalala and his ANC-run cabinet to show decisive leadership by restoring order to KZN’s rural areas. We also call on SAPS to increase its capacity within our rural areas, particularly those identified as hotspots, now and during the holiday season. This must include working closely with security companies, farmers, and farm workers to prevent and fight the scourge of rural crime,” Meyer said.

Meyer called for the SAPS to assign a specialised task force to investigate rural crime, including alleged farm attacks or alleged attacks on farm workers, so that crimes can be solved efficiently and speedily. 

“The drawing out of investigations only leads to increased tensions. It is critical that all stakeholders, including our rural communities unite behind the cause of rural safety. Only then will we be able to halt this terrible scourge that haunts our province,” he said.